Helpful Hints for Blog Collages | Seersucker Sass

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Helpful Hints for Blog Collages

Tis the season for gift guides!  I've gotten a few questions lately about how I make my photo collages, so I thought the easiest thing to do would be to make a blog post about it.  I do all of my collages in... PowerPoint!  Haha.  I'm slowly but surely learning to use Photoshop, so in the meantime, I'm sticking with PowerPoint.  It's seriously amazing all that you can do with the program that doesn't involve creating slideshows; I used it to make movies at my previous job.  I'm not a graphic designer, and I definitely don't claim to be or claim to have gorgeous graphics.  But if you're a beginner blogger or find graphics to be something you struggle with, I think you'll find this helpful!

Helpful Hints for Blog Collages


Without getting into the nitty gritty of using PowerPoint, here are some helpful hints.  If you have questions, need clarification or more explanation, etc., feel free to shoot me an email - contact(at)seersuckersass(dot)com!

You can change the size & orientation of slides!  When I started using PowerPoint for my collages, all of them looked just like PowerPoint slides... and it was depressing.  The wide rectangle just isn't my favorite, especially when my blog is pretty narrow.  Changing the size and orientation of slides is super simple - click on the design tab (or themes tab if you have a newer version), and then select "slide size."  (It's far right under Design and far left under Themes.)  From there, you can alter the orientation and size of the slide. I wish I could say I consistently use the same size, but it varies depending on how many goodies are in my collage, their orientation, etc.

For my visual learners:

Helpful Hints for Blog Collages


You can have a photo as your background!  I've started to do this in Photoshop because I really need practice with the program, but PowerPoint makes is so easy.  Under either Design or Themes, you'll find the "Background" tab.  (Both versions have it on the far right.)  Choose this, then "picture or texture fill."  From there, "insert picture from file," which allows you to upload a photo.  When using the photo as a background, I like to play with the transparency.  In my mind, there's no magic number, because it's dependent on the picture, but I tend to keep it between 50 and 65.

For my visual learners:

Helpful Hints for Blog Collages


Keep branding consistent!  I'm aware that branding is much more than the visual aesthetic of a blog, but I think the visual aspect is a really important piece of branding.  Did you know that you can upload your fonts into PowerPoint?  It's super simple!  If you know the RGB for the colors used in your branding, you can totally use the exact color through PowerPoint!  Also, I've read that using holiday themed colors in things like gift guides makes people more responsive to them, so I try to pick a shade of a holiday color that goes with my branding!  (For example, I use a dark burgundy instead of a bright red for Christmas, because Christmas red clashes with my blog.)  You get to the RGB Slider by choosing "more colors" under the button I've highlighted in the photo below.

Here's some help on how to change the colors:

Helpful Hints for Blog Collages



Take advantage of shapes.  This is another thing I try to do in Photoshop that is super simple in PowerPoint.  I know having boxes on a background is kind of a hot thing right now, as is having them in gift guides to make the title stand out.  There is a handy dandy "Shapes" icon under the Insert tab.  It won't let me screenshot the drop down menu from there, but know that it's super easy and you can fill it with whatever color you'd like and play with the transparency!  Add text on top of it, and you're good to go!

An example:

Helpful Hints for Blog Collages


You can remove the background of photos!  This is actually what inspired this post!  I know how annoying it is when you find the perfect item for a collage, but it has a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad background ruining the shot.  This isn't a fancy video, but this is exactly how I remove the background on my photos.  This photo was easy, but if you get a tricky one, utilize the "mark areas to keep" and "mark areas to remove" tools.  It's pretty much like a little pencil where you mark through what you want to keep or want to remove.  Also, please note that for any of these tools to work, you need to click on the photo first!

(As a supplement to the video, here are the instructions of what to click - click your photo, format tab, remove background (far left), adjust the little box in your photo so that everything you want is within it's boundaries, then use the keep/remove tools.  Anything purple will not be visible!)

Here's the video:




Save as PNG.  Last but not least, save your photo as a PNG.  When you upload a PNG, the file stays crisp and white.  When you upload a JPEG, you often get that gray-ish tint to the background.

For my visual learners:

Helpful Hints for Blog Collages


Hope y'all found this to be helpful!  If you have any questions or ideas for future blog posts like this, reach out to me via the contact box or leave it in the comments!

Happy collage creating!




PS - If you love Gift Guides, check out this Pinterest board I made for them!  I'm accepting board contributors, so let me know if you're interested, and I'll add ya to it!

23 comments:

  1. Thanks for writing this up! I never thought to use Powerpoint for collages before. I can't wait to try!

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  2. All very helpful information! Thanks for sharing :)

    Sarah
    Sweet Spontaneity

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  3. This is perfect!
    I am weaning myself onto Photoshop right now but I have been loving the new PowerPoint tricks you've told me recently.
    Its so much easier than Photoshop.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

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  4. This is such a great post! I've never even thought to use PowerPoint for images and can't believe that I've overlooked a great tool!!! Thanks for sharing sweet girl!

    xo. A Peachy Sonder

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  5. I love using PowerPoint for blog collages! Some of my very first blog posts were collages inspired by some of my favorite style icons.

    Cat

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  6. This was the best best best tutorial ever! I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise! You rock!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

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  7. SO helpful! I've never tried making a collage in powerpoint, but am going to now! Thank you for the helpful hints and tips!

    xo Ashley

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  8. I use powerpoint for most of my collages too! It's so easy and there are always so many different tools within it to experiment and play with :)

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

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  9. Oh my gosh, these are incredible tips! I used to use Word to remove the backgrounds from photos but never realized I could use PowerPoint to make complete graphics. It seems like it can take forever to make a graphic in Canva sometimes. Thanks for sharing and making everything so simple and easy. xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias

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  10. SUCH a useful post!! So glad you decided to share this. ;-) I know I'll be using this in the future for sure!

    xoxo A
    www.southernbelleintraining.com

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  11. I never knew you can do collages in Power Point! I am using canva.com and sometimes pickmonkey.com to do so. Very helpful post indeed! Thank you for the tips!


    http://stylesprinter.com/

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  12. So helpful! Thanks for sharing! I do mine in SnagIt :)

    x Sarah
    http://www.bohochiccafe.com

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  13. I never would have thought to use PowerPoint - great tutorial!

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  14. Great tips! I never thought to use PPT before!!

    XoLindsay
    Sugar & Something

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  15. Great tips. I have never used PowerPoint in this way before.

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  16. Wow it's really interesting that you use powerpoint. I always use photoshop (occasionally picmonkey), I had no idea you even could use powerpoint for this sort of thing. Super interesting tips! Thank you!

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  17. Such great information!! I'm embarrassed to say I've never formatted my own background on PP. Thanks for sharing!

    xo,
    Stephanie
    Diary of a Debutante
    www.thediaryofadebutante.com

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  18. Wow!! I use photoshop all the time, but it's amazing that you can do so much in powerpoint, I had no idea!

    xo,
    Sara Kate Styling

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  19. That's so awesome that you do your collages in PowerPoint! I would have never thought to do that. I don't have Photoshop, so it's great to know what other resources are out there for me to use. I edit most of my pictures and make collages with online resources, namely Pixlr. I also use PicMonkey for simpler designs and for editing things in a pinch. Definitely can't wait to give PowerPoint a go!

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  20. I've never thought about using PP, I always use Canva! Thanks so much for sharing these tips!!

    http://thealwaysblog.com

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  21. Thanks so much for this! I just created my first collage using PowerPoint and your guide.

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  22. I use Bazaart phone app for collages and it gets rid of the background and is super easy to use!

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